A quote came to me a few weeks ago while thinking about an ugly situation. I'll paraphrase: so long as you hold someone down, some part of you is down there with them so you can't rise up as high as you might. I suppose that it can quite literally mean to hold someone down, but I believe that the author is talking about emotional abuse and the mean things we say rather than the things we physically do.
Putting people down, talking badly about others, and being duplicitous are some of the most unbecoming behaviors in humans. In my experience, I have found that women are far more likely to engage in said behaviors than men. Even worse, they act that way toward each other and that makes me particularly sad. I'm not naive enough to believe that there is a cohesive sisterhood of women, but it would be refreshingly nice to have it demonstrated that they might outgrow high school at some point and start acting like the grown women they are instead of the teenagers they once were.
I'm certainly not trying to pretend that I've never given in to the urge to gossip or otherwise act like a b*tch toward other women because I have. I may not always be successful, but I do try to resist those urges. How about you? Are you busily holding someone else down? If you are, remember that you're down there too.